Megabus Introduces Reserved Seating

PHOTO: Passengers board a Megabus to New York in Washington, D.C., U.S., in this June 11, 2009, file photo.

Megabus, the super-cheap bus company with fares as low as $1, is now taking advance seat reservations.

For a fee, of course.

Starting on May 28, the option to reserve what the company called it's "10 most-popular seats" debuts on Megabus' double-decker bus fleet in New York, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Boston & Philadelphia.

It's a departure from the first-come, first-seated model that the buses have embraced since the company launched in 2006.

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A benefit of reserved seating is that family and friends can guarantee seats next to each other, something not possible under the old model. But that guarantee comes at a price: on a search for a May 29 trip from New York City to D.C., a reserved seat would cost an additional $3, $5 or $7 depending on seat selection.

"Of the 10 reserved seat options, four are located on the upper deck at the very front and offer a spectacular panoramic view," said Mike Alvich, VP of Marketing and Public Relations. "Two additional seats are also on the upper deck behind the stairs providing a great view and the convenience of a small table; while four seats on the lower deck behind the driver around a large table are also available for reservation. These are, by far, the 10 most popular seats on our buses and we know our customers will love being able to guarantee a reservation for them when booking their trip."

Judging from the price structure on the same trip above, the most desirable seat is the Upper Deck Front Window seat ($7), followed by the table seat ($5), followed by the balcony seat ($3).

Still, planning so far in advance means that even with the additional cost of a prime seat, Megabus is still a bargain. The base price of a seat on a 9:30 am bus is just $3. For those willing to travel at off hours, there are still $1 seats available.

Reserved seats are visually distinct with solid blue coloring and are identified by a large number embroidered onto the seat fabric. This number corresponds to the specific seat number customers select on the Megabus.com website at the time of purchase.

The company will also be adding reserved seating availability on the Toronto-Kingston-Montreal route in the coming weeks with the possibility of adding the option to more routes in the near future.

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